As a new Vegan we are often concerned about replacements. Equivalent replacements for taste and for health. And it is good to have these questions and seek the answers. Making diet changes without understanding the impact of it is not a very smart decision as per me! Especially if you are conditioned to a certain kinds of food to keep your system up and running. All food have certain roles to play in your health & well being which you may not realize. So before stopping something always check how you could replace it nutritionally and then transition.
In my journey so far as a Vegan I have learnt so much about food, health & nutrition because of looking out for answers to my innumerable questions! A complete diet change may work very well for some people and their health improves. But every body responds differently. For whatever reason you choose to go Vegan I suggest you respect your own body and see how it responds to the diet change , understand its needs and make necessary replacements. What I know for sure is that Vegan diet can take you to the pink of your health but then if you are just eating unhealthy vegan junk food it does no good. Don’t let anyone judge you if the diet isn’t working for you. Make slow transition if you are unsure. Ask questions and respect your body’s needs.
I want to share what I have learned so far in this process and hope it helps some of you who are in the same boat :-). Will focus on sharing posts with vegan recipes which are working for me.
We are often in a rush for our breakfast while heading to work. A quick and healthy breakfast is a savior for those who need to reach work early. When I was in a corporate job a busy morning often meant toast for breakfast. So naturally when I went Vegan the need to replace butter / spreads with an alternative was felt. Hummus is one of the many healthier Vegan options to dairy butter to replace a spread. And if you are used to eating chickpeas / chola on a regular basis like me it is pretty easy to make!! For others, a little extra effort and planning goes a long way in making you healthy :).
Chikpeas or garbanzo beans are rich in proteins, dietary fibre, iron , calcium , magnesium , zinc , important vitamins, folate and anti-cancer selenium. And I am still missing out on its nutritional content. As vegans or vegetarian we often do not realize its health benefits and only consider it a special occasion to make chola puri or use it in chaats. But they are just awesome for your health. If you aren’t already start consuming them regularly.
Coming to the recipe for hummus. This recipe is beetroot hummus. Beets are no less in their health benefits. And the combination of the two I say is superfood! Now you
can easily make normal hummus from this recipe by just excluding the beets.
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 Beetroot steamed
6-8 garlic cloves
2 tbsp Tahini (sesame butter) OR (2 tsp sesame oil & 1 tbsp white sesame seeds)
5-8 tbsp Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of Pepper
1 tsp Sea salt (more as per taste)
Fresh Herbs (optional)
Tahini (if using)
Roast a cup of sesame seeds in a pan until the seeds turn slightly brown and fragrant. Keep stirring intermittently. Remove from heat once roasted and cool. Pour the seeds into a food processor/dry grinder and grind into a thick paste. Use 3-5 teaspoons of olive oil to bring everything together into a smooth paste. Tahini is ready! This itself can be used as a spread or as a dressing on salads / pastas.
1. Soak 1 cup chickpeas overnight. Cook in pressure cooker for 8 whistles. This may vary depending on quantity and vessel used. Check after 6 whistles if you are unsure. Once cooked drain and allow to cool. Use the drained water to make other vegan alternatives like aquafaba!
Note- The grain should be cooked to a point where the skin just starts coming off. We don’t want the grain to be overcooked or undercooked. Undercooked chikpeas will
be harder to grind and you may have to add more oil to make it into a paste. Also Cooked chickpeas are easier to digest.
2. Chop 1 beetroot into large pieces and steam until cooked. easy way to do this – Keep the chopped vegetable in a bowl inside a pressure cooker filled with some water. Close the cooker without the weight and keep on low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Drain the steamed pieces.
3. In a wet grinder add the chickpeas, steamed beetroot, garlic cloves, tahini (or sesame oil & seeds), salt & pepper. Grind these into a thick coarse paste.
4. Add olive oil little by little and continue grinding till you see the mixture transforming to a paste consistency.
5. If you wish to thin down the consistency further you could add the water that is released while steaming the beets- the dark pink liquid. I dont want to miss any nutrition & color so i did. But this is completely optional!
6. Once your hummus is at the desired consistency. Check for salt and add more if necessary.
7. Optionally add chopped herbs like Parsley and give a final pulse in the grinder. You could even spice it up with some chilly flakes.
8. Eat on top of your toast, with chips , Pita bread , with dosa.. anyway you like ! As long as its so pink and healthy Ill eat it with anything. 😀